Norman Caps Impressive June with Second Win
Red-hot Greg Norman capped an impressive month by rallying for a two-stroke victory at the $1.2 million Greater Hartford Open in Cromwell, Conn.
Norman, who won The Memorial June 4th and finished second at last week’s U.S. Open, eagled the par-4 15th hole to grab the lead from Grant Waite of New Zealand and Fuzzy Zoeller. Norman held on for his 14th career victory.
The $216,000 first prize lifted Norman’s earnings for June to $781,780. It also pushed his winnings for the season to just over $1.1 million. The 40-year-old Australian was third at the Masters in April and has not finished lower than fourth since.
“Now I know that it’s realistic to win four in a row because I had great chances to win four in a row,” Norman said. “Right before the Memorial, I talked to my caddie and I said, ‘Are you ready for a good summer?’ It’s one thing saying it, it’s another thing actually doing it. I worked very hard for this week. It’s especially difficult when you contend in a major.”
Norman, who started the day with a three-shot lead, posted a 1-over-par 71 in the final round and a 72-hole total of 13-under 267. It was the lowest score to win the tournament since Wayne Levi in 1990.
The tournament turned on the 296-yard 15th hole, where Norman’s tee shot landed 40 feet from the hole. He chipped in for eagle while Zoeller bogeyed.
“On the 15th tee, I asked myself if I wanted to win this tournament. The answer was yes. You don’t know how that made my attitude turn around,” Norman said. “It landed right on the spot I wanted it to. As soon as it landed, I knew that was it. On that hole, I made two, Fuzzy made five — that was the whole ball of wax.”
“You don’t know how difficult that shot was,” Zoeller said of Norman’s chip. “That shot will be replayed long after I’m dead and buried.”
Dave Stockton Jr., Kirk Triplett and Waite tied for second at 11-under 269. Stockton and Triplett shot 68s while Waite had a 69.
“We had a little trouble adjusting because the greens were softer and slower,” Triplett said. “I left some putts short. I thought I had a chance. If I had kept my composure, I might have won.”
Said Waite, “I made some putts when I needed to and to play as well as I did, I’m happy.”
Zoeller posted a double-bogey at the 17th hole and fell into a fifth-place tie at 10-under 270. He shot a final-round 71 and was tied with Brian Henninger and Don Pooley who fired 65s.
The par-70 TPC at River Highlands course measures 6,820 yards.